Can You Really Profit From LinkedIn?

John Wood here, taking over this week's issues of The Writer’s Life.

Over the next five days, I'll talk about how to take advantage of the power of the business networking site LinkedIn, how to give “the perfect interview,” and how to get more done in less time.

I’ll kick things off by telling the story of a freelancer who totally ruined his reputation on LinkedIn and how web writer and AWAI member Pam Foster (who shared this tale with me) managed to turn that disaster into opportunity.

It started with a conversation in one of the LinkedIn groups Pam is a member of.

A member who had just graduated from a search engine optimization program offered to do free SEO for group members’ websites, limited to the first few people who responded to his post.

He was overwhelmed with responses, as you might expect. So he quickly posted a message saying that he could only offer his services free to a couple of people. He chose two, consulted with them, and then gave them suggestions.

Three days went by and his “clients” hadn’t yet implemented his changes.

It’s quite reasonable. If it's a company website, generally, you can't make the changes yourself. You have to go through the company webmaster, which adds time to the whole procedure. And if it’s your own website, maybe your to-do list is too full to act on those suggestions quickly.

This guy wasn't having any of it.

He posted a nasty message along the lines of: “It seems the people I offered my services to for free didn't implement the changes. So why did I even bother?”

The nastiness escalated with numerous people adding their two cents into the discussion.

Pam watched the entire drama unfold in the group. And then she recognized an opportunity. She went through the responses of the 72+ people who had indicated they would like to take advantage of his free offer, and she cherry-picked the best candidates for her niche.

She contacted them and said, “I see you're interested in SEO for your website. I know the free offer was out there, but if you want to talk with someone who does this every day in the pet industry, let's connect.”

She landed three new clients.

Not bad, huh?

It’s the perfect example of how LinkedIn can be a powerful tool to build your freelance business. Used correctly, you can boost your professional reputation, attract prospects, and connect directly with clients.

For the next few days, I’ll be showing you all the ins and outs of this powerful social networking resource.

Bottom line is if you’re not on LinkedIn, you should be, and you’ll soon discover why. If you'd like to know more about marketing with LinkedIn, please check out an article I wrote about it recently called “Grow Your Freelance Reputation and Business by Taking Advantage of LinkedIn's Power.”

Confession time. Until recently, my LinkedIn profile (check it out here was about 25 percent filled out. I've upped that figure but still need to beef it up in an effort to make it more like Pam's (who has done a great job with her profile, as you can see.

What kind of success have you had with LinkedIn? Do you have any tips to share? If so, please post your comments below.

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Published: January 23, 2012

1 Response to “Can You Really Profit From LinkedIn? ”

  1. Great article John!
    Someone once told me not to bother with LinkedIn but fortunately I ignored him. Pam Foster encouraged me to fill out my LinkedIn profile in detail. I soon had a marketing company contact me and I contacted a local non-profit by writing a personal message, not leaving it to the default message. He invited me to meet over coffee. Now I’ve got two new clients just for using LinkedIn. Maintaining a visual presence on LinkedIn is another matter for me. That’s being fixed in 2012.

    Marianne FoscariniJanuary 24, 2012 at 12:13 pm


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